Weir a Winner Hensby a Puzzle

By Brian HewittOctober 22, 2007, 4:00 pm
Mike Weir had been away from victory for three and a half long years. All of Canada waited. The pressure built. And Sunday at the Frys Electronics Open in Arizona the wait ended.
 
Weirs short game was better than Mark Hensbys when it counted. Weirs off-season, replete with memories of a singles conquest in Montreal over Tiger Woods in the Presidents Cup and now the win at Frys, will be a sweet one.
 
Its been a long time coming, Weir said afterward.
 
And for Mark Hensby, its been a long time gone. His story is a very different one from Weirs. But it is one worth examination.
 
Of all the professional golfers Ive ever covered and written about, Mark Hensby is one of them.
 
And, yes, if you missed the nuance, its hard not to damn Hensby with faint praise.
 
And thats because this enigmatic and hardscrabble Aussie is so difficult to figure.
 
Stoic? Hensby repeated after finishing second and being asked about his demeanor. I have no idea what that means. Do you have a dictionary?
 
Is Hensby the sometimes brilliant player who fired a sizzling 61 at the Frys Friday in Arizona? Or is Hensby the bubblehead who forgot to file his application and missed the deadline for gaining entry into this years Q-school?
 
Was Hensby dead-on or a loose cannon two years ago when he slung mud at the figurative shrine of Greg Norman, the patriarch of modern Australian golf?
 
I cant see why Greg Norman isnt doing anything, Hensby said of the man voted Australias Golfer of the Century. To me, he should be doing a little bit more to make sure it (the Australasian PGA Tour) doesnt go downhill.
 
Among other Aussies, Robert Allenby and Stuart Appleby'were quick to defend Norman against Hensbys attack. Allenby characterized Hensbys comments as pretty sad.
 
This is the same Hensby who regularly slept in a car in the parking lot one winter near Chicagos Cog Hill No. 4 so he could practice at that facilitys heated hitting bays when they opened.
 
There is no questioning Hensbys heart. And much of what rolls around inside his head is worth listening to if, for no other reason, than his voice is so ... well ... different.
 
Hensby arrived at Grayhawk Golf Club this week ranked No. 151 on the money list. By the time he made the turn Sunday, he held a share of the lead with Weir.
 
By the end of the day of the day he had earned $540,000 and secured his playing privileges for 2008. No Q-school necessary after all.
 
Almost forgotten now is the incident at Bay Hill two years ago when Hensby ran out of golf balls.
 
It was embarrassing, Hensby said at the time, after pumping the last Titleist in his bag out of play on the last hole of his first round. What was I going to do?
 
Because his caddie hadnt replenished his supply overnight when the first round bled into Friday because of a rain delay, he found himself out of ammo. And because the partners in his grouping used different golf balls than his, he couldnt borrow one.
 
The media treated his withdrawal as an amusing development. But privately, many of Hensbys fellow players considered his faux-pas to be inexcusable.
 
Meanwhile, Hensbys lone visit to Grayhawk before this week was to attend fellow Aussie Geoff Ogilvys wedding there. On Thursday, by his own account, he didnt hit a fairway until his 10th hole.
 
Going into this week Hensby was still looking for his first top 10 of the year and had seen his world ranking drop to No. 345. This from a player who had climbed into the top 30 in those rankings and won $2.7 million as recently as 2004 to finish No. 15 on the money list. The highlight was a victory at the John Deere Classic. In 2005 he played on the International side in the Presidents Cup.
 
Injuries slowed his progress after that and when he missed half the cuts of the events he entered last year he basically disappeared from most peoples golf radar screens.
 
To me it doesnt matter, Hensby said bravely Saturday when pressed about his Q-school blunder. If I play well, I dont have to worry about it. If I dont, Im not going to go to Q-School.
 
Sunday, Hensby played better than everybody except Weir. They will be dancing in the streets north of the border at golf courses all across Canada this week. But down under, its hard to know if many people took very much notice of the guy who came second and now safely ranks No. 99 on the U.S, money.
 
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    Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

    Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

    Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

    As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

    "That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

    Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

    Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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    Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

    If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

    Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

    But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

    Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

    Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

    Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

    Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

    Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

    Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

    Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

    Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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    Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

    Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

    “It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

    Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

    “What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

    Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

    “When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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    Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

    SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

    Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

    Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

    Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.